A Tale of Two Zip Codes - Building Healthy Communities
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A Tale of Two Zip Codes

A Tale of Two Zip Codes

Did you know that your zip code matters more than your genetic code when it comes to determining how long you’ll live?

Star Trek icon and social media sensation George Takei narrates this engaging animated short film that takes us on a fascinating journey to find out just how important our zip code is when it comes to life expectancy. Check it out below:

Where you live shouldn’t determine how long you live, but it does. In fact, health has more to do with place than doctors’ visits. The odds are stacked against low-income communities and communities of color. Because of a legacy of racial and economic segregation, anti-immigrant policy and a host of other historical “isms’, there are many communities in California where the neighborhood environment conspires to harm resident. These environments lack basic health protective amenities like parks, grocery stores, decent schools, functioning transportation systems, affordable and decent housing, living wage jobs, and even potable water in some instances. Public systems are on life support, stranding residents in pressure cookers of stress. These neighborhood and community environments are not natural; they are manmade, and can be unmade.

Our eye-opening video, “A Tale of Two Zip Codes,” brings to light an important fact: those who live in more affluent communities will live an average of 15 years longer than their neighbors in disadvantaged communities. What separates them is more than distance. It’s opportunity, education, access to care, safer streets — in short, it’s everything you’d want to have for a healthy, happy, and productive life. We need to reshape the places that shape us—our neighborhoods. Because regardless of where you live, what happens to the least of us, ultimately happens to all of us.